September 20, 2017

Homecoming at Beavercreek showcases the battle of unbeatens, as Fairmont (4-0) takes on Beavercreek (4-0).  Fairmont has been the surprise of the GWOC so far this year after beginning the year with a 13-12 win over Alter and then knocking off Springboro a week ago 30-28.  Second-year head coach Dave Miller has turned around the Firebird program and they travel to Beavercreek thinking playoffs for the first time in decades.  Last year, the Firebirds dominated the Beavers for much of the game, taking a 14-0 lead deep into the fourth quarter, but squandered the lead when Beavercreek stormed back to win in overtime 21-14.  Fairmont will undoubtedly be looking to avenge that bitter defeat on Friday.

Fairmont, like Beavercreek, runs the triple option — a run-heavy offense.  The Firebirds are led by junior QB Braden Miller, son of coach Dave Miller, and junior FB Jesse Deglow.  Miller has run for 224 yards on the year and has completed all five of his pass attempts, two of which went for touchdowns.  The Firebirds don’t throw often, but when they do it is typically a big play, as Miller is averaging 36.5 yards per reception.  Deglow is the primary ballcarrier, rushing for 561 yards on the season (4th in GWOC) and 11 touchdowns.  He has scored four touchdowns in each of the last two games.  Last week the Firebirds rolled up 353 rushing yards against Springboro.

Beavercreek enters the game undefeated following a thrilling overtime win against Lebanon last Thursday.  Kaden Wenger ran for 319 yards and two touchdowns in the win.  But the story so far this season for Creek is the defense, yielding only 67.8 yards on the ground per game, tops in the GWOC.  The defense will face a formidable rushing attack, as the Firebirds currently average 305 yards per game on the ground (3rd in GWOC).  Not only do the Beavers boast the best rushing defense in the league, they also have the best rushing offense at 355 yards per contest.  Fairmont’s defense is second at 112 yards per game.

This should be a great game with the GWOC’s best rushing attacks and the best rushing defenses.  Beavercreek has won two in a row and seven of the last eight meetings against Fairmont.  The last two wins have been particularly crushing for Fairborn.  Last year, they blew a 14-0 fourth quarter lead to lose in overtime.  In 2015, they blew a 15-14 halftime lead, giving up 48 unanswered points in the second half in a 62-15 blowout by the Beavers.  Fairmont comes into the game possibly more “battle tested” than the Beavers, with quality wins over Alter and Springboro.  Beavercreek has only been tested by Lebanon, but showed they could run the ball against a tough opponent.  This game should be close and could be a low-scoring affair if both defenses are able to slow the triple option of the other team.  Special teams could also be a factor, as neither team has been able to make a FG this year and neither team punts the ball well — poor special teams could provide a short field and turn the game.  The Beavers must slow down Deglow, who is the primary weapon on offense for the Firebirds.  GO BEAVERS!